During the Baselworld 2012 international trade fair that took place in March, right, 2012, the Swiss brand has present its limited edition Frederique Constant Carrera Panamericana (refs. FC-435S6B6 & FC-435V6B6) collection. Presented in two versions (each limited to 1888 numbered pieces,) it was powered by a hand-wound movement based on a “vintage” pocket-watch caliber.
Officially named Caliber FC-435, the new mechanism is built on 17 jewels and offers pretty much standard 42 hours of power reserve.
I wasn’t able to find more specific information regarding this movement, but, judging by the layout of the dial, I can assume that FC-435 is based on the well-known Unitas 6498-1 caliber.
Well, at least the number of jewels, the power reserve, and the position of the small seconds hand is the same.
Since the source movement was originally developed to power pocket watches that tended to be rather large, the new model is not particularly small either.
According to official specs, the body, which is crafted from polished stainless steel, measures whole 43 millimeters in diameter: quite a size for a dress watch. However, thanks to the use of a hand-wound movement and relative thinness of the case, the new timepiece makes an impression of a well-proportioned object.
The visual effect is further accentuated thanks to the flowing curves of the lugs. Not too short and not too large, the lugs will probably make this watch look nice on just about any normal wrist.
As I have already noted, the watch is presented in two versions differing from each other only with the finish of their dials and straps.
The more discreet FC-435S6B6 has its hour markers and hand-applied indexes crafted from polished stainless steel, while the flashier version with reference number FC-435V6B6 has the elements plated with yellow gold.
As to the straps, the former comes on black and the latter on a brown CrocoCalf leather strap with water-resistant lining and a steel folding buckle although you will probably want to replace the stock stripes with something more upscale in a month or so.
According to the Swiss brand, both timepieces will be offered with an MSRP of $1500 (give or take depending on the part of the world you happen to inhabit,) which is actually generous if you consider that this is a limited edition after all.
Photos: Frederique Constant
Frederique Constant Carrera Panamericana (refs. FC-435S6B6 & FC-435V6B6) specification
Price: $1500 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, Caliber FC-435 (base caliber ETA Unitas 6498,) Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 17
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Movement decoration: La Carrera Panamericana logo engraved on the movement, diagonal Geneva stripes
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel, polished
Size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 10.50 mm
Lug width: 23 mm
Dial: Silver, guilloched with Clou de Paris pattern in the center
Hour markers: Hand-applied, Stainless steel or Gold-plated, luminous
Hands: Stainless steel or Gold-plated, polished, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black or brown “crococalf” strap with ivory stitching and steel folding buckle; water-resistant lining
Crystal: Sapphire, convex